Car accident? Read this important info!

Are you frustrated that you are still in pain from a car accident you had weeks or months ago? I have a lot of people come into my office with chronic pain from an accident they were in months or years ago. Many of them have tried several different treatments, and they haven’t had any relief.

Car accidents can be extremely traumatic events that can impact you in many ways. In addition to feeling shaken up, you may also be experiencing body aches and pains that were likely not present before the crash. It may even be that your pain or discomfort did not show up until a few days or a week later and now you are wondering what is happening with your body.

Important things to know after you have been in a car accident:

  • Even at low impact speeds, your body can sustain injuries such as whiplash, which can be extremely painful. Whiplash results from extreme movements in your neck from the impact. These movements happen in milliseconds and can result in damage to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, bones and nerves.
  • Pain can start anywhere from immediately after the accident to a several days later.
  • Other injuries or conditions that may have been present before the accident, whether active or not, may flare up due to the trauma. For example, arthritis or a disc bulge that may have been present but dormant before the accident, may now be active and painful.
I think it is crucial to understand why you are in so much pain, how your body is responding to the injury and why it is important to seek appropriate care. The injury/pain cycle explains it below. Even though we are talking about car accidents in this article, this is how your body responds to ALL injuries. Whether from running, hurting yourself while working in the yard or playing with your kids, working, etc.

Injury/Pain Cycle:

INJURY —> your body lays down internal scar tissue (your body’s natural emergency cellular structure) —> your muscles become weak & tight —> friction, pressure & tension builds up —> reduced circulation, swelling & pain result —> your body lays down more scar tissue —> muscles become even more weak & tight —> friction, pressure & tension builds up—> reduced circulation, swelling & pain —> your body lays down more scar tissue … you get the idea.

Common Injuries In Rear-End, Side and Frontal Impacts

  • Sprain/strain spine injuries (ie. whiplash)
  • Sacroiliac injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Upper extremity injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Nerve root irritation
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Trigger points and soft tissue injuries
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome


*Chiropractic treatments break the injury cycle and help get your body on the correct path towards healing.


What might the treatment include?

1) Chiropractic manipulation: specific mobilization of vertebrae and other joints that have abnormal movements caused by injury to the affected area. Other reasons for abnormal posture, muscular imbalances or repetitive micro-trauma.

      • Note: There are hundreds of different adjustments and techniques. Chiropractors differ from one another based on which style they chose to practice.

2) Deep soft tissue therapy (Eg. Active Release Techniques, or other modalities): soft tissue therapy treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. This is an extremely important part of the treatment, and may even be the only technique used for your condition, depending on your situation.

3) Rehabilitation and exercise prescription: Specific stretches and strengthening exercises to help restore the body’s muscular balance and coordination. These are typically prescribed once your body starts responding favorably to treatment, and can handle the added exercise.


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